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Journal of Biological Sciences
  Year: 2006 | Volume: 6 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 768-774
DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2006.768.774
 
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Culturable Microbial Population Dynamics During Decomposition of Theobroma cacao Leaf Litters in a Tropical Soil Setting

O.B. Akpor , A.I. Okoh and G.O. Babalola

Abstract:
The culturable aerobic heterotrophic bacterial and fungal distributions and population dynamics during decomposition of cocoa leaf litters were investigated between February 2002 and January 2003 using standard litterbag studies and microbial cultivation techniques in a confined and unconfined setting. Organic carbon, soil pH, ambient temperature and rainfall regimes were also monitored in the experimental plot. Bacterial counts were of the order of 105-107 cfu gG1 wet weight of litter or soil, while fungal counts were of the order of 103-104 cfu gG1 wet weight of litter or soil. Counts of bacteria and fungi were highest during the rainy season months and reduces on either sides of the rainy season divide. Bacteria diversity index ranged between 0.95 and 2.21, while fungal diversity index varied between 0.56 and 2.54 and a total of nineteen culturable bacterial and fourteen fungal strains were identified. The organic carbon contents of the leaf litters were consistently significantly (p<0.05) higher than those of the soils in the experimental plot. Rainfall and temperature ranged from 0.07-8.17 mm and 21.7-32.4°C, respectively during the period of sampling. There was no correlation between total bacterial or total fungal counts with rainfall. The pH of the soil samples was near neutral pH throughout the study period. We conclude that decomposition of cocoa leaf litters in a confined or unconfined setting does not appear to significantly affect the stability of the culturable microbial milieu.
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How to cite this article:

O.B. Akpor , A.I. Okoh and G.O. Babalola , 2006. Culturable Microbial Population Dynamics During Decomposition of Theobroma cacao Leaf Litters in a Tropical Soil Setting. Journal of Biological Sciences, 6: 768-774.

DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2006.768.774

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jbs.2006.768.774

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